woman lying on first aid couch; first aid room sign in business centre; woman’s hand being treated on first aid couch

In 2019/20, 1.6 million working people suffered from a work-related illness in Great Britain (HSE), in addition to general illnesses that are not caused by work but were suffered in the workplace. All employees have the right to work in an environment in which all health and safety risks are managed and controlled to prevent them from getting hurt or ill through work. Employers are responsible for providing adequate first aid facilities in relation to the number of staff and level of risk at a workplace.
 

What first aid provision should an employer make?

HSE guidance states that minimum first aid provision in any workplace is a suitably stocked first aid kit, an appointed person to make first aid arrangements, and clear information for employees detailing the first aid protocol.
 

Do employers need to provide a trained first aider?

All employers must provide an appointed person, who is responsible for looking after first aid equipment and calling emergency services when required; they do not need to be trained in first aid. However, larger workplaces, or those with higher risks, do need to provide trained first aiders. The table below provides further guidance on whether your workplace is likely to require a trained first aider:

able details number of first aiders required according to workplace size and risk level
 

What should be included in a workplace first aid kit?

The British Standards Institution introduced BS 8599-1 (since updated to BS 8599-1:2019) to consider more modern and functional products than previous guidance, and this is therefore the HSE-recommended standard for organisations to use.

Our British Standard Workplace Kits are ideal for many businesses, but we have also created specialist Catering First Aid Kits and School First Aid Kits to provide even more comprehensive equipment for these specific environments.  BS 8599-1:2019 now includes Personal Issue First Aid Kits and Critical Injury Packs, and BS 8599-2 includes Travel and Motoring First Aid Kits. All of these are useful if employees frequently travel, work alone, or work in high-risk environments.

To see our full range of first aid kits, select one of the categories below:


















Similarly to first aiders, the requirements for a first aid kit also depend on the size, risk level and nature of the workplace.

We have a detailed blog providing information on workplace first aid kit requirements and contents. However, the table below provides a simple breakdown in terms of size:

Table details the size of first aid kit required according to workplace size and risk level
 

How often should employers restock first aid kits?

One thing that can be easy to overlook is the need to restock first aid kits, particularly with reference to expiry dates on some items. Just as it is expected for employers to provide the first aid kit, they must also maintain it to the same standard and ensure all supplies are functional. Our British Standard Refill Packs are an easy solution to ensure kits are always up to date.
 

Should employers provide first aid rooms?

The HSE recommends first aid rooms in larger businesses or environments where there is a higher risk of injury or illness. Of course, providing a first aid room in any size of business is likely to improve employee wellbeing and create a more positive working environment.
 

What are the requirements of a first aid room?

  • First aid room: first aid cabinet, pedal bin and trolley; couch with roll, pillow and blanket; first aid sign and guidance posterEnsure the first aid room is easily identifiable and locatable using clear signposting. The HSE guidance states this should be white lettering or symbols on a green background.

  • Ensure the first aid room is located as near as possible to a point of access for transport to hospital.
  • Ensure the first aid room is adequately heated, ventilated and lit, with easily washable surfaces.
  • Ensure the first aid room is large enough to hold a first aid couch with enough space either side for people to work.
  • Assign at least one designated person to maintain and supervise the first aid room.
  • Ideally, a first aid room should be reserved solely for first aid purposes. However, if this is not possible, the room should at least be able to store all first aid equipment in an accessible place and be immediately useable for first aid when necessary, i.e., all activities taking place in the room should be able to stop immediately, and all non-first-aid furniture should be moveable to make room for first aid provision.
 

What should be included in a first aid room?

There is not a set list of required items to go in a first aid room, however, these are recommended items from the HSE:

 

What kind of first aid couch should a first aid room have?

This will mostly depend on the needs of the people receiving first aid, the first-aider or appointed person, and the workplace.




First aid couch: 77cm high with tilting head section and built-in roll dispenser; black upholstery and steel frameOur First Aid Couch is appropriate for most workplaces that have a designated first aid room. It is made up of a sturdy, epoxy-coated square steel frame, with high quality black upholstery that is easy to wipe down. With a built-in roll dispenser, it is easy to ensure high standards of hygiene are being maintained. At 77cm in height, it is appropriate for a first aid room that will predominantly be serving average-height adults.
 




 
Our Low Level First Aid Couch is appropriate for schools or workplaces that have a designated first aid room. It is made up of a sturdy, epoxy-coated square steel frame, with high quality black upholstery that is easy to wipe down. With a built-in roll dispenser, it is easy to ensure high standards of hygiene are being maintained. At 40cm in height, it is ideal for first aid rooms that will serve children or smaller adults.
Low-level first aid couch: 40cm high with tilting head section and built-in roll dispenser; black upholstery and steel frame
 
Make sure you understand exactly what your workplace needs and that you have the necessary first aid kits and equipment to provide effective first aid in your workplace.

Read our blog for more information on first aid, or contact us for further advice and information on our products.